Stagecoach invests over $20m in US coach fleet

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USA Stagecoach Group is investing more than $20m in 51 new coaches to raise the profile of its growing operations in North America. Three key operating subsidiaries, based in Ohio, Chicago and New Jersey, are to share the deliveries – which begin this month. Lakefront Lines of Ohio, acquired last year by Coach America, is to get 10 new MCI J4500 coaches. Chicago’s Van Galder Bus Co., which ran 4.8m service miles last year, also receives 10 MCI J4500s. The company operates 36 of these coaches on daily services to O’Hare Airport and downtown Chicago.

Shortline, the subsidiary based in Mahwah, New Jersey takes the remaining 31 vehicles which are MCI D4505 coaches. Shortline runs scheduled services linking New York City with eastern Pennsylvania and multiple destinations in upstate New York.

All of the new coaches have quieter, more fuel efficient engines and are specified with three-point seatbelts, wheelchair lifts, WiFi, and power outlets. The coaches also have a host of safety features, including electronic stability control, tyre pressure warning, fire suppression systems and GPS tracking. All the new coaches are due to be in operation by the end of July 2013.

Dale Moser, President/CEO of Stagecoach Group’s North America division, said: “We are continuing to see good growth in our local and inter-city transportation services in the United States and Canada. This latest investment allows us to deliver a safe, reliable and good value service to our customers. The new greener coaches feature greater comfort, are equipped with a host of safety features and have more fuel efficient engines.”

Stagecoach’s North America division operates through 25 independent local carriers. The total operation runs around 2,900 buses and coaches and employs around 4,800 people. Overall, the group provides local and inter-city transport services for communities in around 40 states in the US and two provinces in Canada.